It was half past twelve; the sun was overhead when Flint reached the pond. He got down from Lesotho drank a little water and said, ”We are ten steps away from our destiny, I am unsure if we will ever be able to see this pond again or not, whether I will be successful in meeting my family but I will give my best shot, I will try my best till my last breath.”
Lesotho gave a loud neigh rearing as if supporting what he just heard and this was the motivation required by Flint at that point of time. He climbed his back and shouted, ”Come on my friend, let’s do this together in full force!”, Lesotho nodded his head his silky mane swinging by the moments, Flint held the bridle tight indicating the readiness, and then in full form Lesotho gave the journey a head start.
Their first milestone was that narrow gorge where the speeding mechanism of Lesotho was at rest. They trooped through the path that was barely lightened, a dark-ghostly path alike an abandoned den,
weeds grown on the ceiling; its branches hanging as if uncombed hairs
of a witch, spider-webs covering the curved-ends; seen in the dim rays permitted by their sights, the land beneath was burbling and that created a frightening effect, filling the aura with more apprehension.
While the sauntering was still on, a stone struck by Lesotho’s coronet plunged into the valley, giving both of them an estimate of the depth.
Flawlessly favoured by the silence they heard a
clear,”Clan..clak…tap…cluk..chuck…clan…clak…… plop!”, longer than
stated, listening to this gravity under their feet increased sticking them to that place and a wave of terror rushed in their veins.
A little restless rest, and then they continued, consoling himself and Lesotho, Flint said stammering, ”I thh..think the en d is
nearrr…we..ee will be fi…fine…everything is ok… yaa!”
Lesotho agreed with a low-grunting neigh. However, Flint was astonishingly right! The end can be seen, a ray of light can be sighted.
Their speed augmented no problem if the increment was just of zero point five per cent; we can allow this exemption after all they were in a miserable state. This time flew in real pace and within a blink, not actually…slow but steady they landed on the end and the scene they just laid eyes on was astounding, a jaw-drop moment for both of them.
Not only the gorge but also the folktales about this place rounded off.
Not even a sentence matched!
A dense, humid jungle covered their eyes as far as they can see. A thick carpet of soft grass that massaged the feet while strolling with a blend of satisfactory sounds produced by the shuffling of detritus, a green sea of intense plant life; spores engulfing the trees, trees covered by moss that seemed more soothing when overall combined with creaking branches, rustling leaves, whistling wind teasing the fronds. A miraculous view! And who said that THERE IS NO LIFE HERE! Maybe just because this place was such an abundant provider that not a creature crossed the gorge. The pleasantly singing birds, insects chirring, harmless animals rooting in under bush, scrabbling of lizards soon encompassed us through this roller-coaster ride of this countenance of nature.
They were cradling in the arms of nature and to add shades to this plain green look we had criss-crossing rays of the dappling sun peeping through the open areas between the leaves. The bright colourful flowers dancing with breeze and their fragrance filling the air with ardour. As they were spellbound by the vista, a seed dropped down to the ground, a hole formed during its fall swallowing the seed and immediately popped up a sapling, adding to their awe. No doubt the place was so lively!
”This piece of greensward terrain is worth a hundred gorges like the one we just crossed!”, said Flint in utter adoration, ”Right Lesotho!…Lesotho?…he was nowhere to be seen.
Flint looked around his eyes searching for his presence and there he was! Lesotho was enjoying himself near the waterfall, his throat dried by the tiring journey and he was gulping the sweet water. Paying no
heed to his master…! This reminded Flint of him being thirsty as well and the cool water had no alternative, he threw the water in his bottle around and filled his bottle with the stream-water. After a moment of rest, he remembered the purpose of him being there and they proceeded further, first time ever being pleased by the pootle, all thanks to ”Murkyana”, the so-called black-dreary place ..huh!
They rambled quite a long distance when Flint, lost in the pulchritude, tripped over a tree-root and fell on the ground near the hill. ”Ouch…that hit hard!…aahhh”, said he getting up. His clothes got dirty
by the damp soil so he looked into his bag to find a napkin to clean
himself but all of a sudden he turned back and started running in his fastest speed, Lesotho being a loyal companion followed his master detecting some problem. And then he gave a really hard push, the huge tumbling rock found its way down the hill without trampling the bodies and both of them fell to the ground. Uhmm…uhhm…not Lesotho!
”Teal, what are you doing here?” asked Flint experiencing mixed emotions- anger, surprise and pain of course, getting up for the second time from Earth’s lap, this time with a partner!
Meanwhile Lesotho understood why he ran like a mad man! ”Umm…actually..mm…its..”
”Oh, speak up Teal, at least use your tongue if not your brain!”,
exclaimed Flint really exasperated by Teal.
”Actually..I over…heard your granny umm…telling that you
would….would hit a jackpot so I decided to follow you!”, fumbled Teal.
”Are you out of your senses, sometimes you act like a fool Teal, I don’t know if this place possess any kind of veiled threats and now I have your responsibility on my shoulders as well!”
”Wait a minute, how come do you know I was here and was about to be crushed under a rock?”, enquired Teal in a soft grateful tone, his words were never this sweet-textured before.
Flint took out a napkin from his bag, wagging it before his face he said, ”You stuffed this in my bag that day and luckily your inappropriate behaviour saved your life, I meant to be looking for my hanky when my hands touched yours and I got an insight of what is about to impend, now averted…umm, thank me later, for now set out for your home and never come back here, supposedly no treasure but lot of danger…LEAVE!”
”Ever since time existed, I meant to be torturing you; mentally physically and what not, today when you had the opportunity to get this shit out of your life you chose not to! You could have easily get rid of me
but you risked your life for the sake of mine. For the first time in life I am
feeling guilty, useless and grateful at the same time. I am contrite of what I did to you all these years, please forgive me”, said Teal, in a sunken yet convincingly innocent voice, honesty dribbling from his words and his eyelids successfully holding the tears.
”Look I was never affected by your actions honestly, and its justified as there was no one to teach you the difference between right or wrong and dude this is not the time to talk about this, I have some
really salient work to complete, I will get back to you when I return, I
promise but for now go home…see yaa”, said Flint trying to dispel his doubts.
”No way!”, said Teal reluctantly, ‘I am not going anywhere, this is the time I can repent for my actions, whatever you are doing or going for, however dangerous it may be; I am down, if my soul leaves my body
while being in this I would have a happy and satisfactory death!
”Listen to me bro…”
”No you listen to me!”, said Teal in a bossy timbre, ”I am coming with you and that’s final. Can’t I even prove helpful to my friend?”
This was a win-win sitch for Teal as Flint can neither argue nor refuse a friend! After Flint smiled hearing this, Teal spread his arms for a hug that he needed badly and Flint too gave him a warm embrace
accepting his friendship. Lesotho neighed happily and together, the three trooped ahead.
Flint asked, ”Tell me one thing, how you traversed this distance without any means. It was difficult for me though I had Lesotho.” Lesotho, not happy with this statement, looked away.
”I am not that stupid to come after you on foot, I got a lift till the gorge and from there I followed behind hiding. That gorge was indeed a terrific place but the later view was of due worth!”, said Teal.
”If not with Lesotho, me coming alone till this point, was impossible!”, said Flint trying to impress his upset friend. All of them laughed looking at each other, knowing this was false flattery.
”So what’s coming up next, will you please tell me the motive of coming here or we are just wandering around?”, asked Teal mocking their own condition.
”Actually..I am really hungry for now, let’s grab some food and we will talk then, lunching and munching.”, exclaimed Flint moving his hand round his belly.
”Sure!….Einnngghhhhz z z z z z ” chorused the two.
All of them settled down on some rocks below a lush green tree and Flint took out from his bag fresh broth, some vanilla flavoured buns, some water and also garbanzo beans for Lesotho, distributing the food among his mates Flint said, ”If I wouldn’t have found you, there’s no way you could have survived without this”, pointing out the bun in his hand.
”HaHa…jokes apart but I always wanted to ask you how you got this skill of foretelling the future!”
”This is what we have come here for, in brief, this is no skill but a boon I got because of Zircon Magic and here we are to find him, he used to work at Oarilsdel- The palace of white magic which was located on
that mountain top”, said Flint pointing at Dresden, ”Those who know
and practice white magic belonged to the people of the castle and are
called as members of the arcane family. I am one and I don’t really remember since when and my father and mother were both members as well!, I will provide you with the details during the journey.
Now relish on this lips-smacking lunch.”
”These things seem too good to be true but anyways this is yumm”, said Teal licking the spoon.
”I have a minor doubt, how do you know that I don’t share a good relation with my grandpa?”, questioned Flint his eager ears waiting to hear the answer.
”I apparently…..did you hear that…it came from that bush”, said Teal getting up from his place and turning his face to the bush from where a strange sound came.
”Yup that was really clear for the ears to catch its frequency! But what was that?”
In a flash something came out of the bush and all of them started shouting at the top of their voice.
Once they restored to senses they knew it was a pretty bright parrot and a girl who seemed a witch on the first glimpse as her hairs were scattered all over her face when she came out of that bush, maybe
she tripped; fell in there and the look was the result of that tumble.
”Can I have some?”, she asked in a voice no-one could reject while rearranging her hairs, that were long black cascading hairs, fair complexion, grey eyes with an unusual gleam, wearing a red frock and
black boots that perfectly suited her slim body. ”Y..yaa!”, asserted both yet in a confused manner.
Grabbed the bun as soon as she got affirmation and ate it as if she hadn’t had food in a year.
”Who are you?”, asked Teal laying his eyes on the bun that was his on the first place but was unable to feed his stomach with.
”Can’t you see I am hungry, we will continue this Q and A session once I am done eating!”, said she in a bit angry and quite a rude tone. Both of them kept mum, while Lesotho concentrated on his lunch being the least bothered until his meal was also attacked and shared by the
parrot, but still he went unaffected and rejoiced in going halves with his new partner. Soon she finished eating and cleaned the mess that was caused by gobbling up the cuisine.
”As it happened, when I started this expedition, I was unsure of how long will it go, so I packed all the necessary stuff with me, and was good to go but when being in need of those necessary things, I realized that I didn’t carry that baggage with me, I would have starved to death if you both hadn’t arrived. I know there is a lot to eat around but I had no knowledge of what’s potion and what’s poison. I am really grateful to both of you and in return as a token of thanks I can guide you through as I was meandering all these days, I pretty much knew many routes!”, exclaimed she her words talking to speed.
”Thanks for offering this help Miss..?” asked Flint.
”Paraiba!” said she, ”Friends?” she offered, stretching her hand towards them without any hesitation. Then they have a warm handshake and now they were a merry little group of five!
”This is Sasha, my parrot.” ”I am ”
”Flint, this is Teal and Lesotho, I know he already told me!”
”Hearing this they couldn’t believe their ears, they thought either she is an actual witch or else a brilliant psychologist. They gave each other a weird look and then gazed at her with the same expression.
She laughed at them uncontrollably and said with pride, ”Its not what it looks like, for your kind information I am a linguist by birth, I can
understand any language of any being present on this planet, Lesotho was indeed quick as for the intro is concerned!’.
”So you are a member too, good to know.”, said Flint in ecstasy of getting a mate of his fraternity.
”Yes, I know all as respects this affair! Are you a member too?, she curiously asked Teal.
”Unfortunately no!”, dismayed he replied.
”Oh, no worries, you are still our buddy!”, came a jocund reply.
She was an extrovert and a friendly being, talkative as well, throughout the journey she didn’t stay quiet for even a moment of breathe. But this is what made her endeared to all of them as if they
know each other since ages and share a strong connection.
”Who else in your family is a member Paraiba?”, enquired Flint.
”I lived in a family of four, my father, mother, aunt and me. When I was like ten years old my mom passed away and my father was a member, I never saw him in person. My aunt told me about all this and hence I came for a search. I really miss my parents”
”I am sorry…I didn’t mean to hurt you.”
”Ah, don’t be so formal, I am fine, what’s your Zircon Flair?” ”This is a nice topic to discuss on, I have an accurate foresight.”
”I should probably develop some interest in this stuff as my only
good friends are both magicians!”, exclaimed Teal as if he felt left-out. ”That won’t take time, this is indeed magnetic, you will naturally feel that pull and attraction once you are in its magnetic field”, said Paraiba, who had a habit of narrating long-complex stories even when the question was short and simple!
”My legs feel numb right now, I have no idea how many miles we just footslogged, and can we just take a break, let’s sit and talk…please!”
”Of course Teal we can agree to that demand of yours, what say Paraiba?”
They all sat down in the shed of the tree, and as soon as they sat, they got a relaxing sensation as their feet were tired carrying their own weight. The weather suddenly turned chilly, the sun got engulfed by the clouds, cool breeze embraced them and as a result they started shivering, but Paraiba was in action, she quickly placed some dried sticks and leaves at a place making a heap. She then said something that left Teal and Flint in complete awe.
”Fire”, said Paraiba and aroused in front of them blazing fire, that comforted then from the chills and soon all of them normalized.
”You know the spells?”, asked Flint in amazement. ”Whenever a baby is born ”
”Paraiba….Paraiba…a short n sweet reply….please”, requested Teal,
who have had enough of the long tales and was equally curious to know!
Nodded Flint agreeing
”Fine, you guys, you also know the spells, we are gifted that being members, try one yourself, actually there are no spells for meagre things, whatever you want just automatically come to your lips if you intend it to be magic provided the intension is never to cause harm and whatever you utter becomes a spell. Simple as that!”, informed Paraiba.
”This is fascinating, ‘Delicious Meal‘, food entered the view,
”Woahhh, this is insane. Tell me one thing if you knew this, then why did you lunch on poor Teal’s bun you could have asked one for yourself!”
”Oh yaa, you are right, I think probably hunger ruled my senses at that point, this idea didn’t strike me”, replied Paraiba drowning in embarrassment.
The flame was about to run out due to the lacking fuel so Flint got up to get some dried sticks and hurriedly grabbed a bunch lying there
with his hand but unknown about the sharp thorns he got pierced in his left hand’s palm by one causing a gash.
”Cast some spell Paraiba, I am not in the state to do so, hurry up!”, shouted Flint in pain.
”Sometimes we need to allow our wounds to heal themselves, our body is also magical, it cures itself!”, said Paraiba applying ointment and then bandaging it with her scarf, ”I, at least got this ointment with me, it
was in my pocket. My mom’s recipe, she use to say that she added one
special ingredient that made it so effective- Love; she believed love alone could heal anything. She was a wonderful lady, I am proud that I am her daughter.”
”These doesn’t suit my cheerful friend,” said Teal wiping her tears, ”We too are your family and I am glad that I found you guys”, and gave them a tight hug, Sasha and Lesotho joining their masters. When they were in the middle of this nostalgic moment, they felt something’s approaching them, when Flint and Paraiba turned to sight what caused Teal to open his eyes to an extent that his eyeballs would fall off. They turned and Teal hid behind them, Lesotho and Sasha seemed frightened too. What they saw was extremely appalling. It was an onyx black snake, as big as an anaconda, shiny scales, fierce red eyes, pink hissing tongue, slowly coming towards them. As the snake was like 20 feet away, zigzagging to reach them, Teal closed his eyes and held their hands tight. Ten to one their death changed its path as the snake looked confused for a moment and then passed them as if they aren’t there. In fact, they were evidently invisible! Once the snake was out of sight, Teal gave a sigh of relief.
”Thanks for saving my life again Flint.”
”I didn’t cast any spell, I thought Paraiba did!”
”No, before I started with the spell we already receded from view and I thought you casted the spell faster.” Now they gave each other a tense look and then stared Teal folding their hands, Sasha and Lesotho copying their masters.
”Only Zircon Flairs can be practised without spells and faster than them, so I think you have something to reveal, right Teal?”, sarcastically asked Flint.
”I swear by God, I have no idea what just happened, I was gracious to you guys for saving me from this hitch”, tried to explain Teal.
Discussing something in low voice, Teal getting worried with every passing second, they spoke up.
”Prove that you are not a member”, said Flint, ”Prove that you don’t know white magic!”, added Paraiba.
And before Teal could utter a word proving his innocence, both of them moved few steps backwards and casted a spell together and soon after a gigantic branch of an enormous tree fell on him and before this
harming attack could even cause a scratch surprisingly Teal was
screened. Teal was taken aback in shock!
”We suspected you of being a member, so we decided to cast this attacking spell on you and guess what we were right you indeed are! ”, said Paraiba, ”And not we, but that was you who saved us from that wild danger, if truth be told, you have a zircon flair of invisibility that efficiently did its job in the absence of any rune!”, added Flint, all of them rejoicing except for Teal who was still not able to absorb the shock of the revelation. Once Teal fully acquired the new him, his emotions burst out as an active volcano!
”Yaayyyyy!”, shouted Teal at the top of his voice, while he was randomly dancing, jumping, embracing things around him, ”I am one among you, I am a member, yesss!”, the dopamine reactions in his brain
can be clearly identified, he was going mad with happiness and everyone
else was also happy to see him elated.
‘’Confetti Celebration”, casted Flint and Paraiba together, the spell of celebration, which added to the event becoming more memorable. Those words of magic caused the aura to change totally, it was raining
confetti, lavish food and drinks and everything that perfect party needed!
”My life seem incomplete without you guys, you are my chosen family, love you guys”, said Teal holding their hands together.
”You better share your food as a vote of thanks, this time with whole heart”, as a quipping taunt, said Paraiba .
”All yours Mam”, replied Teal.
Then the marvellous five savoured the far-stretched supper.